Friday, July 6, 2012

Independence Day

I have always loved this holiday, but this year was a particularly fun 4th of July, except for the fact that I missed the balloon festivities (though I did snap this pic on the way to the Freedom Run). 

Speaking of the Freedom Run, I was kind of dreading it in a way, but I got up very early to run my first ever 10K with my awesome friend, Michael Koecher. My goal for the race was to simply not walk any of it, but I definitely didn't think I'd be able to do that with how dry and smoky it's been and how I totally failed on my previous run.

I started the race going uphill. It was tough, but I took it slow. As we turned onto University Avenue, I realized for the first time that we would be running through the parade route that hundreds of people were there for. My first thought was "Man, maybe I should have put some makeup on this morning." As if anyone cares.

Then we split from the 5K runners again to do a loop up Center Street. During this loop, the song "Can't Breathe" by Leona Lewis started playing. I had to crack a smile.

As we turned to head back up 9th East again, I could see up the street and thought, man, I've already come about 5 miles without stopping. I am NOT stopping till I cross the finish line. So I didn't. Even though it was about 9 blocks. I even RAN a bit at the end. I can't believe I did it. I am so proud of me!

Afterwards I had my first Fatboy, some Powerade, and a free 5-minute massage. Here's a picture of Michael and me in line for that.

That massage was heavenly.

And then we went home, I called my brother to wish him a happy birthday (shout out to Ted for his 26th birthday!) and I showered and took a nap. (And woke up somewhat paralyzed.)

Later I limped down the stairs and walked to Stadium of Fire with Mike, David, and Emily. The show was fantastic! Who knew the Beach Boys were so stinkin' cool?

Did I go home and buy the Beach Boys greatest hits? You bet your bottom dollar.

Also, I almost cried during the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. My patriotic little heart just couldn't take it! And I simply couldn't soak in the awesomeness of the fireworks like I wanted to. It was so amazing. Pictures never do fireworks justice, but here are a few from the evening anyway.

It was a great day, but the patriotic festivities weren't over for the week. Last night a group of us got together and lit some fireworks.

It was the first time I had ever lit fireworks. Crazy, right? What kind of American am I? I probably wouldn't have even done it but Mike and David prodded, so I caved. (Thanks, guys!) Also, sparklers are pretty cool to play with. I still want to experiment with long exposure shots with them. Another day. :-)

These things were great fun, but this holiday means more than fireworks, music, and a day off of work. I am seriously so blessed. How can anyone be ungrateful when we live in a country with so much freedom? We must never forget that freedom isn't free. We must never forget what principles this country was built on. Our lives are so wonderful. I hope you had a great Independence Day too, and God bless America!

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